It’s kind of hard to believe, but it’s already the end of 2017. It just doesn’t feel like the end of 2017, though, because the endless chaos and torment of living in Trump’s America makes time pass slower. We’re all so exhausted from the constant assaults on democracy and our sense of stability that it seems like it should at least be the end of 2019 by now. (Which would make it that much closer to a presidential election to hopefully end this little experiment in celebrity-driven reactionary politics.)
It’s almost impossible to keep up with the latest dumb, crazy, or evil thing that’s happening. So much so that we need some kind of chart to map the literally hundreds of bonkers news events of 2017. While compiling that seems like a soul-killing exercise in self-harm, the good people at Axios took data from news sources and Google Labs, crunched the numbers, and built a chart that plots all the not-fake-news of 2017 onto a readable graph-like thing. It’s like a top 100 albums of the year list, or a Facebook “my year in review,” except it’s a chronological look at very, very, very bad things.
One main takeaway from the Axios chart: There was always some kind of controversy or act of hostility taking place. Another main takeaway: In any other year, some of these items would be major touchstones that stayed in the collective consciousness for months. But in 2017, they’ve been almost completely forgotten. For example, you may have to run a Google search on “Covfefe,” “Otto Warmbler,” or “Papadopoulos.”
Because it took its data from Google Labs, the Axios project also reflects what issues had people searching for the most. According to research, the most searched for topic that made its way to the chart was a November special election in Virginia. People didn’t even know it was happening, apparently!
Here’s how the weary populace responded to the Axios chart on Twitter.